I love a good antique store. Whenever possible, I try to bring "old" elements into my designs because I feel like things that have age add a depth to a space that can't easily be replicated. A collection of chemist bottles with patina, a mirror that once reflected the face of a French farmer, a wardrobe that smells like old books and has hand driven nails, these are the types of items that really make me feel happy inside.
I can't pass an antique store without going inside. I just can't. They're like free museums to me. So when there was a long wait for breakfast at Lucille's restaurant in Longmont, I sauntered down the street and was delighted to find an antique store nestled inside a cute historic home. That store, is LVS antiques.
The owner of LVS Antiques, is Linda Holm, and I sat down with her all the way back in February (I got busy with projects so I hope she forgives me for this lag time), to talk about her sweet little store and what drew her to the world of antiques.
Linda moved out to Colorado to attend CSU and then received a degree from Denver Metro in computer science. She has an engineering and systems analyst background.
So how did you get started in antique dealing?
Well, I married a Swede, which is why my last name is Holm, like Stockholm. After that I fell in love with the Gustavian and the Swedish look. So my home is mostly French Country and Swedish in design. My grandfather was an auctioneer and that was maybe what planted the seed to want to start acquiring things of interest. As I worked in the engineering field, I realized that there wasn't much variation in the work. So antiques became my outlet for creativity.
Where do you acquire most of your antiques?
Originally I purchased most of my purchases came from importers, and that really started to define my style.
What is your style?
18th century and 19th century European and American furniture is my focus. I love the French furniture and the British. When I start to think about it I actually really love everything. I love the primitive. I don't have a lot of primitive things in here, but I'm planning on getting more in here really soon. A lot of my items actually come from home owners who call me because they're changing their style, and they have something they think I may like. So, I go over and look at the piece, and if I can afford it and if I have the room, I'll bring it to the shop.
When did you move to Longmont?
We moved here in 2015.
Oh! So quite recently.
Yes. We lived in Castle Rock for 17 years and we commuted to the Denver Tech Center. My husband and I worked for the same company. Then I opened a shop on Antique Row on Broadway in Denver. When we moved to Longmont, commuting six days a week to Denver started to get a bit cumbersome, so we decided to move the shop here. We have family in Boulder, so we wanted to get closer to them and we've really fallen in love with Longmont. There are so many talented people in Longmont, and so many people who are interested in history, and who have history here. We also get a lot of tourists. They're all looking for something to do in between weddings or outings and they wander in here.
Do you ship items from your store?
I've never really shipped things except for smaller items. I did have two women fighting over a headboard once. They were on different coasts. One was willing to fly it from New York, and the other had her husband drive out from Oregon and picked it up because she put the check down first. That's about as crazy as it's gotten. (And she giggles)
Do you sell online at all?
I sell on Ebay. I do one show, it's the Super Duper Garage Sale at the Boulder Fair Grounds. It's January every year. I'd like to do more shows. It's hard for me to move big pieces around because we have a physical store. A lot of antique dealers just wheel around from show to show and they have a better setup to do so.
The antique dealer world intrigues me.
Oh yeah. There are 50,000 registered collectors groups. 50,000! It's astounding the categories within those groups. I had a gentleman come into the store looking for vintage Band Aid holders. Band Aids used to come in tins, and this guy collects those tins. He told me he has over 800 unique Band Aid tins. I felt bad that I didn't have one for him.
What's been your favorite piece that has ever come through the store?
My favorite piece was a J.H. Horner Morrison chair that had the original upholstery on it, and when I picked it up from this lady, she didn't know what she had, and I didn't know what she had, and it was literally in pieces. She asked me to take it and do something with it. I had it put back together and it was absolutely gorgeous. It had to be attributed to Horner because it wasn't marked, but everyone knew that it was and it sold very quickly.
The other piece I love is actually here in the store and it is also a Horner. I bought it in my first online auction. I didn't know what I was doing, but I knew I wanted another Horner piece. So I started bidding on this desk and the man on the phone told me that I had won and that I had three days to come and pick up this desk. What I didn't realize is that the desk was in Aberdeen, Mississippi! I got off the phone and told my husband that we were taking a road trip to Mississippi! (she laughs heartily)
What do you love about Horner's designs?
Well he worked with mostly mahogany and walnut and dark oak. Each piece is hand made and highly carved and they're just beautiful.
Do you know the story behind every piece in the store?
If I'm getting things from home owners, it's usually a little ambiguous because it's been passed down from their grandparents or something. A lot of times I know the origin of the pieces, and you can usually deduce the dates based on the types of carvings on things, but a lot of times that's the extent of it.
Do you have any employees or is it just you?
We're a family owned business so it's just me and my husband. I do have a temporary employee that will come and help me with Ebay if I start to get overwhelmed in the store.
What makes your store unique in Longmont?
Well, for now, we are the only antique shop in Longmont. Antiques are any pieces that are 100 years old or older and that's what I sell. I do try to support local artists. For example, I sell these little hand made teddy bears that look antique but they're made locally. We do pop-up markets in the summer time. We do about 4 of those a summer and we invite other vendors in and line the driveway with their wares. We advertise that on our Facebook page and I'll shoot out emails to let customers know when those are happening.
Where can we find you online?
On Facebook, you can find me at LVS antiques. Our website is www.lvsantiques.com.
Do you have any advice for the general public?
Never stop learning. I learn something new every day from people who come into the shop. I try to share what I know with people. It's a great exchange. The store is like an old man's coffee shop in a lot of ways. Sometimes we will get a bunch of people in here and it's just amazing what gets talked about, and what people know, and what they've experienced.
----end of interview----
I had a great time talking with Linda. She is incredibly knowledgeable and warm and her store is full of charm. If you're in downtown Longmont, be sure to stop in and check out some of the rarities she has in her store, or lend an ear to a good converstation. LVS is located at 530 Kimbark Street in Old Town Longmont.
Thanks for reading. Until next time........